Monday, February 6, 2017

ch. 21 | the renaissance in quattrocento italy

  • elevation of the individual
  • major shift of power from church to the patron
key artists:
  • lorenzo ghiberti
  • filippo brunelleschi
  • donatello
  • verrocchio ("true eye")
  • pollaiuolo (human form in action)
  • jacopo della quercia
  • masaccio (couldn't make a living w sculpture so started painting)
  • fra angelico (lived in a monestary) 
  • andrea del castagno (powerful last supper depiction)
  • paolo uccello
  • sandro botticelli (birth of venus, primavera)
  • perugino
  • luca signorelli
  • piero della francesca
  • mantegna (leads up to birth of high renaissance, full perspective figures, foreshortening)
early italian renaissance:
-di sotto in su
-tromp l'oeil
-revitalization of classical ideals 
-humanism, secular
-architecture: open light spaces, balance, symmetry
-painting: linear perspective (Brunelleschi)

renaissance humanism:
  • shift in focus from divine subject matter to human endeavors in life & art 
  • emphasis on potential of individual 
  • spirit of competition & quest for human excellence
the medici of florence:
  • giovanni (banker, merchant)
  • cosimo (refurbished & updated dominican library at s. marco, supported fra angelico)
  • lorenzo the magnificent (master patron of arts, endowments equivalent to $20 million in 15th c)
the florentine revival:
-medici family as patrons
-italian architects revived classical style
-focus on sculpture
-revival of:
  • equestrian monuments
  • death masks (lorenzo medici, ghiberti)
  • statuettes in bronze of mythological figures for domiciles (marsyas, herakles, hermes)
  • church pulpit & door embellishments 
commission competition (1401)
  • important not only for quality of work submitted but also showcased key elements associated w mature Renaissance art:
-personal/guild patronage 
-esteem accorded to individual artists
-development of new pictorial illusionism
  • focus on God's order to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a demonstration of devotion
fig. 21-2
east doors- baptistry of duomo
subject mater: sacrifice of isaac
theme: history (sacred)
uses more material
quatrafoil design
tell story w images
focal point is isaac & abraham
violent movement & high emotion

fig. 21-3
east doors- baptistry of duomo
subject mater: sacrifice of isaac 
theme: history (sacred)
more comtemporary, believable, naturalistic, muscles
angel- foreshortening
grace & smoothness
Abraham in a Gothic pose (outthrust hip)
figure of Isaac recalls Greco-Roman statuary

fig. 21-10
gates of paradise- ghiberti
north doors baptistry duomo florence
bronze w gold gild
-first renaissance art historian
-Commentarii book 1 talks about admiration for naturalistic art of classical antiquity
-Commentarii book 2 deals w the art of his own time & an autobiography of him
-Commentarii book 3 talks about the disciplines that a sculptor must master
-praises Cavallini, Orcagna, Lorenzetti, Martini, Duccio
-admired sculptors: Giovanni, Pisano
-fame & glory increasingly accorded to individual achievement in 15th century italy

fig. 21-9
Isaac and his sons- lorenzo ghiberti
east doors of Gates of Paradise of the Baptistery of San Giovanni
1425-1452, gilded bronze, Florence, Italy
linear perspective, vanishing point
-Quattrocento: development of linear perspective
-developed by filippo brunelleschi
-perspective= "to see through"
-trying to represent depth in a 2-D painting or relief
-brought all visual sensations under a simple rule that could be expressed mathematically
-perspective was a way to order & clarify their compositions
-allows artists to determine mathematically the relative size of objects to correlate them w visual recession into space
-artist needs to identify the horizon line, select a vanishing point, & draw orthogonals

saint mark- donatello
designed for architectural niches
the noble visage (face)- saints look like wise elders

pazzi madonna- donatello
subject: christ child & mother mary, 1422
intimacy & emotional connection

judith & holofernes- donatello
holofernes= assyrian general that was pillaging judith's city
he got drunk & she decapitated him
engages you from all angles

the penitent magdalene- donatello
c. 1455
subject matter: woman in prayer
genre: history- sacred/portrait
medium: sculpture
technique: reductive
fig. 21-11
david- donatello (1440-1460)
head of goliath at feet
genre: history-sacred/portrait
nude- only wearing hat & boots
contraposto pose
more feminine
fig. 21-12
david- verrocchio (1465-1470)
head of goliath at feet
genre: history-sacred/portrait
stronger, more physically developed
hero pose
  • pathos- expression of extreme sadness, grief or depression
-renaissance artists valued imitation
-many 15/16th century artists developed unique styles but convention predominated 
-certain themes, motifs, & compositions appear regularly 
-imitation: renaissance artists believed that the best way to learn was to copy the works of masters
-emulation: next step after imitation; modeling one's art after that of another artist

-patriarch of renaissance architecture, style of order & equilibrium= standard for the next 400 years
-linear perspective ingenuity manifested in architecture
-development of hydraulic system to elevate bricks & mortar

cupola of Duomo- filippo brunelleschi
unique eight rib engineering of "Double" cupola- 2 domes
interior of Santo Spirito- brunelleschi
logic & order. equal articulation of arcades
corinthian columns, coffers (cut out boxes) to get rid of weight
clerestory windows (round ocular windows)
perfect geometry, order, harmony, ideal light
  • clerestory windows: (round ocular windows) any window you can't see out of, above eye level, alludes to light of heaven, separation of mortal & divine
fig. 21-30

ospedale degli innocenti- brunelleschi
florence, italy, 1419
hospital /facility for protection of young children
medallions btwn each arch have details of children
swaddled children- protection/cared for

-very wealthy families sponsored chapels in the form of separate buildings adjacent to churches
-endowed to ensure the well-being of souls of individual family members & ancestors
-served as burial sites & spaces for liturgical celebrations & commemorative services
-chapel owners sponsored masses for the dead
-1215, the concept of purgatory was officially recognized by pope innocent III
-lead to trying to earn salvation through good work/deeds & devotional practices
-most patrons also commissioned decorations (painted altarpieces, frescoes, sculptures)

-wrote De re aedificatori libri X (on the art of building in ten books)
-first renaissance architect to understand classical architecture in depth
-sought to ennoble the profession of architect
-believed that designs should reflect the laws of nature & conform to mathematical formulas
-brunelleschi & alberti shared belief in eternal & universal validity of numerical ratios as sources of beauty

equestrian monuments:
  • prototype from roman antiquity: marcus aurelius - propaganda: might of roman empire 
fig. 21-15
gattamelata- donatello
equestrian figure, 1453
downturned mouth, staring off into space
ball under horse anchors structure - functional device
fig. 21-16
bartolommeo colleoni- verrocchio
chest puffed out, looking down on you,
prouder, horse armored 
battle of the nudes- pollaiuolo
circa 1470
medium: printmaking
technique: inaglio
method: engraving
all muscles are tense, focus on anatomy
expulsion of adam and eve from the paradise- jacopa della quercia
contrapposto (shift in weight) & temptation/expulsion iconography
adam's furrowed brow, eve's coquettish look
power of body language: gesture, gaze, torque
adam's taking the brunt of physical punishment
fig. 21-20
holy trinity-masaccio
1427, buon fresco
ideal geometric architecture
implied linear perspective: illusion of 3 dimensional space
memento mori (skeleton at bottom)- in case you don't subscribe to faith- propaganda
dove (around God's neck) of holy spirit descending onto christ
body twisted slightly
ionic capitals
fig. 21-19
expulsion of adam & eve from eden - masaccio
eve's eyes hollowed out
lines = God's voice
angel= foreshortening
suggested landscape
anatomical accuracy
fig. 21-18
tribute money- masaccio
pedagogical iconography
branacci chapel- santa maria del carmine florence, 1427
sculptural forms into painted figures
synoptic narrative
3 stories in one- tax collector, jesus telling them to get money out of fish, getting money out of fish
skin color of tax collector= "an outsider"
iconographical components:
  • the last supper
  • symbol of divinity: (christ) (open window)
  • symbol of humanity: (disciples) (12 tribes)
  • spiritual sustenance: (bread)
  • sacrifice: (wine) (extended arms/to frame)
  • betrayal: judas, figure of dark complexion, coins, knife
  • trinity (primary colors) open window, inexplicable light source
fig. 21-22
last supper- andrea del castagno
refectory- s. apollonia, florence
1447, buon fresco
judas on other side of table & darker & w/o halo
marble window points towards main scene
fig. 21-21
annuncation- fra. angelico
ca. 1438-1447, fresco
san marco, florence, italy
accurate bodies & drapery
fig. 21- 28
primavera (Spring)- sandro botticelli
tempera on wood, 1482
cycle of life of a woman
tree arch= "de facto halo"
flowers in prime of reproductive time
cupid is blindfolded
medici oranges- so wealthy that they had oranges even tho they don't have it in italy
lorenzo the magnificent or mercury (hermes) picking oranges
turned away- he's gay & physically uninterested in the women
three graces dancing- ideal /prime characteristics of the female in society,
diff angles of human body, classical & peaceful
diaphanous gown- see through
zephyr (west wind)- sucking the life out of her
fig. 21-1
birth of venus- botticelli
venus arose from seafoam- goddess of love & intellect
based off greco-roman prototype
zephyr & flora, her attendant
fig. 21- 28A
young man holding a medal- sandro botticelli
 medal of cosimo de' medici
circa 1475
gold coin- wealth, red cap- associated as cleric
no separation of church & state- corruption
fig. 21-42
the damned cast into hell (or damnation)- luca signorelli
1499-1502, fresco
foreshortened muscular bodies
propaganda- last judgement kind of thing

piero della francesa:

  • became one of the most innovative of cusp of high renaissance
  • nickname: walnut eyes
baptism of christ- piero della francesa
1450, tempera on wood
sense of calm, dove
start of christ's public ministry

flagellation- piero della francesca
figures are complacent- don't do anything bc christ is about to be beat
fig. 21-25
resurrection- piero della francesca
fresco, 1463
trees on right are alive, trees on left are dead (dead and came back to life)
one of guards= self portrait of artist
sleep= metaphor for death, blind to resurrection of christ- ignorance
physical enhancement in body- power/stronger in resurrection
christ rises majestically from the tomb
right hand w banner and red cross- symbol of victory over dead
halo- more realistic, not a circle
Resurrection= city logo of San Sepocro, city's heart & identity
guard w head back- first time foreshortening, walnut eyes
jesus separated spiritually & physically from guards, on his own plane, presented frontally
one guard has no legs, jesus has a 6 pack
resurection is hard bc bible has no description of event, only what happened afterwards

fig. 21-43

battista sforza and federico da montefeltro- piero della francesca
ca. 1472- 1474, oil & tempera on wood
tribute to wife's (battista) death
fig. 21-49
palazzo ducale- andrea mantegna
ceiling fresco, 1474
trompe l'oeil
  • trompe l'oeil- to fool the eye into seeing space that's not really there
fig. 21-50
corpus christi/lamentation of christ/dead christ- andrea mantegna
tempera on canvas, 1500
foreshortening, more visual punch than showing from the side
wounds in feet, hint of a halo

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